We are currently on a 14 night Grand Mediterranean cruise on Viking Sea, the second ocean cruise ship from Viking Ocean Cruises.
Today we are enjoying our first and only sea day on a port intensive itinerary. We embarked in Barcelona, Spain and have visited ports in Toulon, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Ajaccio, France; Livorno (Pisa), Italy, and two full days in Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. After the cruise, we will showcase the highlights of this incredible Grand Mediterranean cruise, a trip that has really blown us away so far. Until then, here are 16 things (in no particular order) that we love about Viking Sea.
1. Crew – We can’t say enough good things about the crew on this ship. They have spoiled us so much, it’s going to be hard to get off the ship next week. From Angel, the head waiter in Manfredi’s to our room steward Michael, service on the ship has been top notch. And it’s not just us saying that, other passengers that we have met throughout the cruise have been raving about the crew members.
2. Time in port – I have never been on a cruise that spent this much time in port. We were in Monaco for 16 hours and in Civitavecchia (Rome) for two days. This gives you amble time to visit each port without feeling rushed. After all, you cruise to the Mediterranean to step back into history and visit places that you’ve read about your entire life. This allows you to do just that with the long port days that are on Viking Sea’s itineraries.
3. No nickel and diming – One of my favorite things about Viking Ocean Cruises is that you don’t get hit up with charges all over the ship. There is no charge for Wi-Fi, drinks during meals, specialty restaurants, mini bar, the thermal suite, one shore excursion in every port, laundry room, room service, and specialty coffees.
4. 9 USB outlets in our cabin – There is no need to bring a power strip with you on Viking Sea. Our stateroom has four power outlets and nine, yes nine USB outlets. On each side of the bed, there are two USB outlets and one 110 power outlet. There are an additional five USB outlets on the desk. With everyone needing to charge cell phones, tablets, cameras, smart watches, and other devices, there are enough outlets to charge everything you bring.
5. Bathrooms – From the large glass enclosed shower to the heated floors, the bathrooms on Viking Sea are roomy and comfortable. The ship has the largest shower I’ve seen at sea and has great water pressure. It’s a nice change from the standard bathrooms found on the majority of cruise ships.
6. One shore excursion included in every port – Viking has a motto, they aren’t going to charge you to take you to a port and then charge you again to see it. One shore excursion is included in every port.
7. Manfredi’s – There are two specialty restaurants on board Viking Sea, Manfredi’s and Chef’s Table. While both come with no surcharge, the dining experience at Manfredi’s (Italian restaurant) is nothing short of superb. Our recommendation, arrive hungry and order the house steak, you won’t be disappointed.
8. Thermal suite – The thermal suite on Viking Sea is a great way to kick back and relax. There is a dry sauna and cold dipping pool in each locker room. The communal area has a therapy pool, hot tub, steam room, heated stone loungers, and a snow grotto. Did I mention that there’s no extra charge to use the thermal suite?
9. Seafood buffet – Every night, a seafood buffet is offered in the World Cafe. This includes crab claws, King Crab legs, shrimp, and a sushi station.
10. Indoor/Outdoor pool – The main pool has a glass covering so it can be used no matter what the weather is like. Since it’s currently cool in the Mediterranean, the retractable roof has been closed for our entire cruise. This lets guests use this area even when the temperature outside is near freezing. There are also comfy lounge chairs around the pool that offer unobstructed floor to ceiling ocean views. A large TV screen overlooks this area where movies are shown at night.
11. Overnight ports – Our cruise has two over night ports, in Barcelona and Rome. Since one day in each of these cities is no where near enough time, the extra day allows you to spend time in ports where you need it most.
12. Specialty coffees – Specialty coffees are available in the World Cafe and at a coffee bar in the atrium 24/7 and come at no extra charge.
13. Aft infinity pool – The aft infinity pool and hot tub will give you the best view (wake view) on the ship. There are also a number of tables to dine outside.
14. Living Room – Most cruise ships seem to have limited seating in the atrium, one of the most popular areas of the ship. Viking Sea has an abundance of seating in the Living Room for the amount of passengers on board (930 max).
15. Staterooms – Every stateroom on Viking Sea comes with a private balcony. Our Penthouse Veranda (PV2) is huge and has a large bed, couch, coffee table, desk, two chairs, and plenty of storage space.
16. Star Theater – The Star Theater offers everything from musical shows, enrichment lectures, to 3D movies.
Bonus Reason: Mamsen’s waffles – Mamsen’s is a Norwegian deli located in the Explorer’s Lounge. For breakfast, Norwegian waffles are served that are nothing short of divine.